Thursday, July 17, 2008

Maybe I'm Missing Something But...

... if most of the environmental whackjobs are, as one would assume, also evolutionists, then they are at cross purposes in regards to this story where a scientist says that some turtles will need to be relocated because climate change is threatening their survival. Pardon me but if evolution as they see it (which is by no means a unified theory among them) is supposed to provoke species to adapt, why not just let them adapt or die? Seriously, if they can't survive on their own, they're not meant to be here right?

Same goes for the occasional beached whale. A big fuss is made, tax dollars are spent and all the hippes come to worship as they push the big floppy monsters back in to the sea. If the thing is dumb enough to get beached, maybe, according to evolutionary theory, it just needs to die off so future generations of the big floppy monsters don't do the same thing and gain better instincts as to depth and tides.

I don't buy in to evolutionary theory or TENS (Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection) but for those who do and yet make a huge fuss about assisting the endangered species come across as hyprocrites.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008


A hearing impaired woman has filed a lawsuit in Federal court because she said a McDonald's refused to let her order food at the window and insisted that she use the microphone at the menu board.

First of all, McDonald's is PRIVATE PROPERTY. As far as I'm concerned any private property owner should be allowed to discriminate against anyone for any reason they want to. They should not be FORCED to provide facilities to accommodate any particular class of people.

The woman in the story has no more RIGHT to order anything from McDonald's than I have to go in to her home and raid her refrigerator without her permission. They should have the absolute right to refuse service to her and/or insist that she follow their procedures for ordering.

She could have gone inside to order but nooooooooo... She says that she has autistic children and it can make it problematic for her to go inside.

Now get this part, it's important: "It's not appropriate for a hearing-impaired person to be forced to go inside because of their disability, when ... other drive-thru, fast-food restaurants have a policy to allow deaf and hard-of-hearing people to order at the drive-thru window."

Did you catch that? Other restaurants have policies that accommodate her needs but she is going to insist and subsequently try to cash in on the fact that a particular restaurant accommodate her desires.

Personally, I'd like to see this woman lose her lawsuit and be forced to pay the legal expenses McDonald's incurs for this. Furthermore, I'd like to see the American's with Disabilities Act revoked because it's cost us billions through it's sheer stupidity and it will only continue to cost us more.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What About The OTHER Nursing Services?

Fox News laments the shortage of nurses in public schools collectivist education camps around the country.

Among the other duties that nurses have, that the story does NOT mention is that nurses frequently take junior high and high school girls to abortion clinics so they can dispose of their inconvenience without their parents finding out.

It's a crazy world we live in when a child can't be given an aspirin in school without parental consent but a girl can be taken by school personnel to end a life with no consent or notification of any kind to the parents.

Friday, July 11, 2008

How To Stop The Violence

Some of you may not care about the massive amount of murders taking place south of the border. For reasons that some of you know or may have guessed, I do.

A couple of months ago, Felipe Calderón, the President of Mexico, ordered Mexican Army troops to be stationed in various areas around the country where the drug lords (narcos) were causing the most problem. When this first happened I said that using the military for internal police actions was a very bad idea. Why is it a bad idea? Because the military is trained for war, not police work. They are trained to shoot first and ask questions later. The police are supposed to have investigative skills whereby they distinguish (supposedly) the good guys from the bad guys and go after those they think are the bad ones. The military is not burdened with those distinctions; they are a blunt force instrument.

The way the Army is deployed in Culicán (and other cities I assume), they mostly serve to inhibit the flow of people through the city by means of random traffic stops and general harassment. The problem is, these guy are not trained in profiling. Most of the work is done by low ranking, relatively uneducated young men who are following a nebulous set of orders to try and identify the bad guys at the check points. Even if they manage to identify someone who MIGHT be bad, they tend to be poor and are likely to accept bribes. They are largely ineffective, however there have been conflagrations between the military and the narcos and in some cases, the Army has been very effective but it's not the norm. They've killed quite a few of the narcos and their hired assassins. The problem is, the presence of the military has escalated the problem. Why? Because the narcos refuse to intimidated by what is largely a tactic meant to do just that. The narcos are agile and decentralized. The military is, by it's very nature, cumbersome and centralized. The narcos are not in uniform, they're not wearing ID badges, they're not hiding in bunkers and military installations. They are the neighbors, friends and relatives of the people most affected by the violence.

Why should you care? First of all, I would expect that Mexicans will be abandoning their cities faster than ever and heading north to the relative safe environs of the United States. I'm not sure how to measure the effects of the violence on our illegal immigration problem but I doubt that effect is zero. Another way it effects you and I is that the violence makes it more difficult and thereby more expensive to do business there. We get a lot of our tomatoes (recently exonerated of salmonella poisoning) and other produce from the state of Sinaola. Our food prices will be affected even more than they have been already. Basic economic principles build risk in to pricing, I'll leave it to the professionals to do the mathematical models.

The other reason that we should care is that our own domestic policies are causing problems for them. We have policies that both encourage and allow massive numbers of illegals to cross our border with little in the way of consequences because it's easier for them to come here instead of stay home and face the problems in their own country and make the necessary changes.

So, what is the solution to the problem? The first step should be obvious from what I've already said. Pull the military out of the Mexican cities. That should be done immediately. Sure, the narcos will FEEL like they gained a victory but the homicides will fall dramatically because they won't need to continue their show of force. Think about this: The narcos are essentially employees in the chain of command. The bosses don't show their faces and are essentially untouchable. In some cases, the police have no clue who the top dogs are. For the most part, Sinaloa is a clearing house for drugs coming from the cocaine fields in Columbia and other countries. That means the narcos in Sinaloa are really just employees of someone else and their show of force is their way of protecting their jobs and their territories. I suspect they are more afraid of their employers than they are the police and military.

The next step then is, to make the narcos (and those that are part of their support system) MORE afraid of the government than they are of their employers. This could be done fairly quickly by establish a truly anonymous tip system. A double blind email, phone and text message system could be established fairly easily and, by comparison to other methods, inexpensively. Citizens informing on other citizens for mere suspicion generally goes against my libertarian leanings, but let's solve one problem at a time. Get the narcos afraid of being anonymously turned in. I know for a fact that as it is, many people are afraid to call the police on these people because it might be traced back to them. Many of the police are also on the payroll of the narcos; I'll get to that solution shortly. The downside to an anonymous tip system is that many innocents could and would get caught up in the system because vindictive people would report their enemies who had nothing to do with the drug trade or the violence. I'll leave it to the people of Mexico to assess that risk. A sort of triage system for tips could be established where the most serious and/or clear tips are investigated first. Professional investigators would assess the tips and decide what to act on.

What do you do about those within the police (and military) who are part of the problem? Lie detector tests! Hire a private firm from another country to administer lie detector tests to EVERY law enforcement agent in the country once every two months. This process is also subject to corruption and pay offs but a strong auditing system would help immensely. Some people are able to lie and pass the test and there are false positives too but it would be effective in rooting out the most corrupt very quickly. In fact, you'd see many personnel quit in droves before they allowed the test to be administered. Those people should be investigated immediately. I imagine they'd be beating a path straight to their other employer. Anyone who didn't pass the test should be summarily fired and quietly investigated.

The last immediate measure that should be passed is that the right to bear arms should be given to Mexican citizens. Make the narcos afraid of being fired upon by average citizens. Establish firearms training schools. Let the people have the right to protect themselves. The police are obviously not doing much on that front.

The first long term solution comes from the United States. Legalize drugs. I will not get in to all the reasons for doing this, most of which has to do with our own liberty, but it would essentially break the back of the drug cartels who would no longer have a viable business model. Their profits would drop and their power would diminish to nearly nothing. While it's true that they could still ship to other countries where it's still illegal, the US is their biggest and closest market. I realize it would not be easy to end our asinine War on Drugs but it's not impossible either.

A long term solution for Mexico would be the formation of a new political party dedicated to ending the corruption so rampant in the current system. It would take a brave group of people to do that because there is no doubt that some of them would be threatened, beat and killed by those supporting the status quo. I think they would quickly have the support of the people though and that would afford them some measure of protection. As to what other political positions they would adopt, it's hard to say; a centrist position would be best. Then they could pull the non-corrupt ones from the other parties in to their party. As with any such endeavor, this would be extremely difficult to do and they'd have setbacks and mis-starts. But it would be a place to start. Obviously the details of how to create a new political party cannot be enumerated here.

Another long term solution would be measures to bring their emigrants home. Immigration reform in the US would take care of some of that, but I imagine a combination of tax incentives for returning emigrants and those that employ them as well as educational benefits. I'm not enough of an idealist to be against some government spending with very specific time and cap limits in order to accomplish these things. If it was a matter of their government becoming less liberty oriented in the process of doing so, I wouldn't propose that, but my idea is at least neutral. Their minimum wage is next to nothing as it is or I would call for the elimination of that wage. As an aside, I'd like to see some numbers regarding the people employed outside of the taxable system because of minimum wages and regulatory burdens.

Oil, oil, oil. Currently, Pemex is the state owned gas station in Mexico. The gas prices there are subsidized and quite low (about $2/gallon). That ought to stop since they just end up paying for it in other ways along with the administrative burden of shuffling tax money around. They could increase their output and sell it to the United States. They could also form partnerships with private oil companies for more off shore drilling. This would have the effect of enriching the Mexican economy and providing more opportunities at home which would mean fewer illegal immigrants here.

I'm sure I could come up with a few other things, but what I've outlined here is the highlights; the most pressing issues. Please feel free to elaborate on your own suggestions, comments, etc. Some of it may end up reaching important people.


Even A Child Can Understand

I'm not sure why this is news, but Fox is reporting that a 10 year old girl tried to join the football team and they told her *GASP* NO!

I was talking to Little Dif about it and asked if it was fair if a girl wasn't allowed to join a boy's football team. Her answer was of course, "It's not fair, she should be able to play if she wants to." She was assuming it's flag football. I told her it was tackle football and she would probably get hurt if she plays the way other boys play with each other. Then I asked if it was fair the boys would all probably not be able to play as rough. She decided that was less fair than it was for the girl not to be allowed on the team.

It's so simple that a seven year old can understand yet it flummoxes and discombobulates school boards, parents and feminists.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

More On Mexico

During my trip to Mexico, I came across something I had never seen before. There is a fruit called the litchi that I quite enjoyed. It's about the size of a large raspberry. It's got a hard outer skin that's not edible. When you bit in to it to it, the skin breaks and the juice leaks out. The inside consists of a somewhat slimy but very delicious meat that surrounds a bean sized seed. Eleanor demonstrates the proper way to to consume a litchi after the skin has been broken. Although Litchis are not known to be natural aphrodisiacs, the picture of Eleanor might give that impression. Litchis are originally from China and are grown in many places in East Asia.

Mexico could be so much more than it is. They've got income producing natural resources, a rich agricultural industry, a family oriented and relatively cohesive culture, and a population that could easily sustain much greater commercial growth. As I mentioned in my last post, they lack a history and tradition of individual liberty. Everyone wants something done about the problems of corruption and violence but not enough people stand together at any one time to do anything about it. They seem to have the collective attitude that someone will do something but they're not going to get involved. Indeed, it can be dangerous to get involved at some points. Violence amongst the drug dealers seems to be at an all time high, the military patrols the streets and people can't tell when the cops are actually working for the bad guys. It puts the individuals in a terrible position. Based on what I see, there is no reason that Mexico couldn't have the economy, industry and infrastructure that our other neighbor Canada has. The people simply have to want it bad enough to force the change. I haven't a clue what could motivate them to want it bad enough.

Back to a more positive note, a musical note as a matter of fact, Sinaloa has a type of music known as 'banda sinaloense' which sounds a lot like 20's jazz with a little Dixieland thrown in. It's fun, upbeat and easy to dance to. I'm not so sure I'd be inclined to buy a CD and listen to it in my leisure time but it certainly is fun at a big party. There are ten to twenty band members and the singers are usually a duet. The way people dance to it is interesting too. They dance fast but the man holds the woman close and has his cheek pressed up against hers. If I tried it, I'd trip and hurt both of us!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Bathroom Rule


If you ever travel to Mexico, you'll be happy to know that urinal rule in public bathrooms is in full effect.


If you don't know what I'm referring to, ask a guy.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Some Comments On Mexico

I've been in Mexico for the past week and every time I come down here I understand the place a little better. There's a few things that I'd like to share with you about the place.

First of all, and this is no surprise, most of the people that live here are fairly poor. By American standards, many are in abject poverty. One of the things I like about the place though is that the people are fairly entreprenurial. There are lots of road side and neighborhood businesses. When I say neighborhood businesses, I mean businesses that people run directly from their homes or directly in front of them. There's lots of food vendors, primarily tacos and hotdogs. Every neighborhood has a few little stores in it where you can buy sodas, snacks, and in some of the slightly bigger ones, normal stuff for normal meals. Still most people go to the big grocery stores for their main supply of groceries.

On the road to those grocery stores, you can see lots of street vendors. They sell food, piñatas, trinkets of all types, priated CD's and DVD's and I've even seen a few selling USB memory sticks.

Also, trucks go up and down the street selling newspapers, etc. and shouting over loudspeakers announcing their presence. The newspaper guys are especially funny; they announce headlines in the most fervent tones. My Spanish is pretty limited so I don't understand much of what they're saying but it comes across sounding like Hitler shouting political propaganda. You would have to hear it to understand. Anyone who did that in the US would be immediatley cited for disturbing the peace if the neighbors didn't pour out of their homes and lynch him first.

There is a blatant disregard for rules, regulations, building codes, health codes, etc. that makes American cities neat, clean and orderly. To a degree, it's rather refreshing. Essentially, there is a high cost to trying to do everything legitimately here because there are people to be paid off for any major and many minor undertakings. For the most part, people just don't bother; they do what they're going to do.

You'll see acrobats performing for people as the're stopped at trafic lights. I've seen fire jugglers also which is pretty cool. They live off the tips.

Food is much cheaper here than in the US. Luxury items are quite a bit more expensive. TV's, stereos, digital cameras, etc. seem to be about 10-20% higher here. Clothes are also more expensive here than the US; especially for the popular named brand stuff that's already expensive enough in the US.

Mexico's problems are not insurmountable. They don't have the culture of liberty that is woven in to the fabric of American life. They need to stop accepting the corruption so rampant at every level of government and start demanding accountability. Unfortunately and expectedly, those in the top levels of the system are adamantly opposed to changing the system that keeps them in power. Mexico could solve many of it's problems just by ridding itself of the corruption.

Another thing that would great improve Mexico is for the US to legalize drugs. The drug cartels here would disappear nearly overnight. It would be a painful transition for Mexican commerce though because much of the drug money is funneled in to legitimate businesses and communites grow.

I'll probably be saying more about all of this later.